Yarrow grows everywhere, in the grass, in meadows, pastures, and by the roadside. As it creeps greatly by its roots and multiplies by seeds it becomes a troublesome weed in gardens, into which it is seldom admitted in this country, though it is cultivated in the gardens of Madeira. A flowering plant with distinctive flat flower heads and lacy leaves. In China, its stalks have been used as a randomize in divination since the second millennium B.C. For this reason, Counterpane chose the name Yarrow for its new pseudorandom number generator (PRNG).
What’s a PRNG? It’s a mechanism for generating random numbers on a computer.
What to look for:
The stem is angular and rough, the leaves alternate, 3 to 4 inches long and 1 inch broad, clasping the stem at the base, bipinnatifid, the segments very finely cut, giving the leaves a feathery appearance. It flowers from June to September, the flowers, white or pale lilac, being like minute daisies, in flattened, terminal, loose heads, or cymes. The whole plant is more or less hairy, with white, silky oppressed hairs. Yarrow grows everywhere, in the grass, in meadows, pastures, and by the roadside. As it creeps greatly by its roots and multiplies by seeds it becomes a troublesome weed in gardens, into which it is seldom admitted in this country, though it is cultivated in the gardens of Madeira.
How Mother nature loves it:
Common yarrow is a drought tolerant species of which there are several different ornamental cultivars. Seeds require light for germination, so optimal germination occurs when planted no deeper than ¼ inch. Seeds also require a germination temperature of 18–24 °C (64–75 °F). Common yarrow responds best to soil that is poorly developed and well drained. The plant has a relatively short life, but may be prolonged by dividing the plant every other year, and planting 12 to 18 inches apart. Common yarrow is a weedy species and can become invasive.It may suffer from mildew or root rot if not planted in well-drained soil
How to use it:
Yarrow Tea is a good remedy for severe colds, being most useful in the commencement of fevers, and in cases of obstructed perspiration. The infusion is made with 1 OZ. of dried herb to 1 pint of boiling water, drunk warm, in wineglassful doses. It may be sweetened with sugar, honey or treacle, adding a little Cayenne Pepper, and to each dose a teaspoonful of Composition Essence. It opens the pores freely and purifies the blood, and is recommended in the early stages of children’s colds, and in measles and other eruptive diseases.
A concoction of the whole plant is employed for bleeding piles, and is good for kidney disorders. It has the reputation also of being a preventative of baldness, if the head be washed with it.
It was one of the herbs dedicated to the Evil One, in earlier days, being sometimes known as Devil’s Nettle, Devil’s Plaything, Bad Man’s Plaything, and was used for divination in spells.